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13 August 2010 @ 03:43 pm
Somewhen I was Meant to Be 6/9  





~ Chapter 5 ~

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Running just as fast as you can,
You jump ship way quick but maybe it's thicker Than Water,
I've got some good news for you my friend,
Man is faster,
You jump ship way quick but maybe it's thicker Than Water,
One day you wake up and realize just what you're after.

~~~
Todd Hanigan - Thicker
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They left LA before the morning rush hour begun. The sun was only just peeking from behind the mountains ahead of them when they left the city behind with Destiny and her son in the backseat. Matt was huddled beside his mother and Dean had hinted at the fact that they'd need to get some clothes for him while he had handed Dee one of his t-shirts to change out of her own clothes, which were still smelling of fire and sulfur.

Besides the lack of sleep for most of them, the night had been quiet without any signs of demons and Dean had already begun to wonder whether they were dragging along a pair of uninvolved civilians who had been at the wrong place at the wrong time. Then again, one look at the boy and something wrapped itself around Dean's spine like the legs of a spider.

The boy was intelligent, bright and adorable. He hadn't realized it before but when he smiled his cheeks dimpled, his eyes sparkled and his slightly crooked teeth looked too big for his face. The boy screamed Sammy in his face. And when he looked at him with these innocent eyes Dean felt like either running away or shaking until Sammy - his Sammy - fell out of him like coins out of a upside-down pair of jeans. It was a stupid thought and he had to gather all his might not to turn around repeatedly to stare at the boy (Matt - his name is Matt).

His father hadn't said a single word ever since they had gotten into the car. Two men, a woman and her son. Strangers. Having met less than twenty-four hours ago and yet their path was somehow leading into the same direction. And if he couldn't listen to his own feeling then at least he should listen to what Missouri Mosely had to say in it. She had the unfaithful gift to be right. With everything.

"Where exactly are we going?" Dee asked quietly, carefully, and Dean could see that she was intimidated big time by John Winchester's gruff mood. She looked like she wanted to give up breathing for it might anger his father. John Winchester though had decided to just ignore here presence which made Dean roll his eyes about his father's social manners. Once more he turned around in his seat, grateful for the excuse to look at the boy again. "Missouri Moseley, she's a friend," Dean answered. "You should be safe there."

"Oh, okay." She swallowed, clearly not yet satisfied with his reply and Dean wondered for a moment whether she was about to tell them to stop the car and let them out. Since last evening she had barely spoken. Merely 12 hours ago a demon had wanted to kill her and had almost succeeded if Dean hadn't shown up in the last second. Her home, her whole existence had burned away so quickly that they hadn't had time to rescue anything but the clothes she was wearing and Matt's teddy bear, which he apparently never let go of. So it didn't really surprise him when she wasn't finished asking questions. "Why? Why is this happening?" She breathed quietly and Dean sighed inaudible. If he was earnest, he would have expected the question much earlier.

"I don't know," he said, glancing at Matt, who was dozing in his mother's lap. "That's what we're going to find out."

She nodded and fell silent, staring back outside to the scenery that was rushing by so fast that it turned into a blurred mash.

The day felt long and never-ending. The car with the four passengers eating away mile after mile. They didn't stop except for gas and bathroom visits, conversation down to zero and Matt sleeping most of the time anyway. Being inside the car had a strangely calming effect on the boy and he only woke up when John killed the engine, bouncing awake so fast that it made his mother jump from surprise. "Are we there yet?" He asked every single time and Dean couldn't help the grim smile that was blossoming on his lips. But it vanished as fast as it had appeared when each time John's fingers curled around the steering wheel, knuckles turning a pale white. It was already after ten when they entered a small town by the name of Mallory, inhabited by no more than a thousand residents. Dean hadn't expected this, assuming that John would drive through the night stubborn as he was. So it came as a surprise when the car rolled onto the parking lot of the only motel of the town.

"We're stopping?" Dean asked and John grunted, not giving an answer at all but instead went to the reception area and came back two minutes later with two keys.

Dee looked relieved, Matt looked groggy. The boy rubbed his eyes furiously as if it would be enough to banish his tiredness from his little body.

"Are we there?" he asked, squinting his eyes against the neon light of the motel sign.

"No, honey. We're just stopping to get some sleep," Dee answered and scrambled out of the car, taking Matt's hand in her to follow John, who had grabbed a few bags and was already walking towards a long, flat building with numerous doors facing them. Each door with the number attached to it and determinedly John strode towards the second door on the left to unlock it, gesturing Dean and the two others inside.

"Secure the room! Don't take too long," John growled at his son. It was a long time since Dean had experienced his father in such a foul mood. He was beginning to wonder whether this was because they were intentionally running away from the demon his father had searched for such a long time or if maybe it was something else that was bothering his old man.

"Yes, Sir," Dean affirmed with a serious nod, then followed Dee and Matt.

Both were standing somewhat lost in the room and Dean felt another pang of regret. How come it was mostly innocent families who were being sucked into this kind of lifestyle? The one where you don't know how to sleep at night. Where you don't know if you better use your money for a burger or a tank full of gas because you don't know whether you'll still be alive after the next hundred miles but you don't want to die hungry either.

"So..." Dean clapped his hands in a surreal attempt to lighten the mood. It did work. At least where Matt was concerned. The boy's smile lit like a lantern and he all but jumped up and down, trying to wriggle his fingers out of his mother's grip.

"Can I help you to salt the windows?"

Startled, Dean asked. "Salt the windows?"

Dee actually rolled her eyes, as if salting windows was the biggest nonsense she could think of. "It's a weird habit he started to have a few months ago," She explained, sounding almost apologetic. "I have no idea where he got it from."

"Salting the window, huh?" Dean repeated but this time his gaze was directed at Matt. "Who told you about this?"

"I don't know," Matt answered shyly, biting his lips. "I don't remember."

"So, why do you do it then, if no one told you about it?" This time Matt merely shrugged his shoulder.

"Okay, let me see how you do it," Dean said, making it sound like a challenge. Like an invitation to do his best to fulfill Dean's requirements. Once it had been an amazingly helpful tactic with Sammy if the little boy didn't want to follow the orders their father had given. He had made it a little game, just between them. Who can make the straightest/highest/most even line? Sam had always won because Dean didn't want to spoil the fun for Sam.

"Okay," Matt's face lit up and he grabbed the can of salt that Dean had already put on the table. "My line will be the straightest."

The boy bounced off to begin with his assignment, tongue between his lips in arduous concentration and Dean felt his heart rate speed up.

This wasn't possible. This wasn't Sam. Because Sam was dead.

But every fiber of his body told him to grab this boy and hug him and ruffle his hair that was too long for their father's likings. Pain, that he had buried for such a long time longed to rise from the depths of his mourning subconscious. Yes, mourning he did. Still did after eight long years of the inevitable truth of his brother's death. Tears burned the insides of his lids as he watched Matt work.

"Are you okay?" Dee whispered, startling Dean out of his daze. He had almost forgotten she was in the room even though she was standing right next to him and had put a soft, warm hand on his upper arm. "You look like you're going to faint." She smiled a little, amused by the offended expression in Dean's face.

He huffed. "I don't faint... I..."

"Bad memories?"

"You could say that."

"Your brother?"

Dean cringed and hoped she hadn't felt it under her touch. "It was a long time ago."

"That's what everyone says when they don't want others to know how much it still frightens them."

"I'm not... frightened. It just... I miss him."

So, he had said it. For the first time. So what? It hadn't even hurt. She was quiet for a few moments and he felt her need to ask a question that he probably wouldn't want to answer.

"Would you tell me about him? Your brother I mean?"

Dean had no intention whatsoever to talk about his dead little brother but his mouth opened before he could prevent it.

"His name was Sammy," He began and waited for a reaction of Dee. There wasn't one; she just kept staring at him expectantly. "He died when he was sixteen."

"How did..." She stopped, probably realizing how much the question would hurt him but it was too late.

"It's okay," he assured. "It was an accident." Yeah, sure. "He fell." More like being pushed. "It was... an accident." He repeated lamely, trying to convince himself but it was clear to him that Sam's death was anything but an accident. Not after everything he had discovered and especially after everything his father was still keeping secret. The guilt he was carrying weighed more than ever before.

His little brother had been killed. Had he been aware of it? Was it fast? He hadn't shown any signs of a struggle. Just a look of surprise on his face, his open eyes matted over with the dull layer of death. His body a mangled wreck. Blood like a carpet around him and the white bones of his upper arm visible where it had broken through flesh and skin. His left foot sticking out beneath him at a sickening angle.

The picture rose sharply, like a movie in front of his inner eye and he rubbed his lids, hoping to dispel it from there. Feeling dizzy and nauseated, Dean swallowed painfully.

"I'm sorry, Dean," Dee said hastily. "I didn't mean to pry. It's not my business. I just... I don't know what I'd do if I lost Matt."

"You won't," Dean blurted out vehemently. "I won't let anything happen to him." Not again. "I promise."

"Nice try," she smiled sadly. "But you can't promise things like that."

"I can."

Silently watching the little boy prepare the salt ring around the door they sat next to each other on the edge of the bed, knowing that promises were nothing more than empty words if you weren't actually God himself. They were both intelligent enough to know that. But it was nice to try fooling themselves into a false hope.

"So," she asked, watching her son. "What is with the salt?"

"That's... actually..." He raked his hand through his hair. "I don't know where he knows it from but... salt is a protective element. It repels demons."

"It does?" Her eyes were wide open, a confused look on her face. "So... throwing salt over your shoulder..."

"Probably wouldn't do much more than make a demon sneeze but you're getting the point here," Dean confirmed with a wry smile.

She sighed, putting a shaking hand on her mouth. "This is totally the twilight zone."

Dean huffed. "Welcome to my world."

Somehow, he felt the need to console her. To take away her worries. Wanted to embrace her and assure the everything would be fine. But that would've been a stupid thing to do. Nothing would be fine again.

"How am I doing so far?" Matt asked throwing a hopeful look at Dean who nodded appreciatively.

"Looks good, buddy."

Indeed, Matt had tried hard to cover all of the window will without spilling anything on the floor. Just the way John Winchester had taught him. Him... Dean. Not Matt.

Dean cleared his throat. "How old is he?"

"He just turned eight." Dee smiled.

"Eight. Sam loved to play soccer when he was eight..." He murmured so low that she probably wouldn't even understand him.

"Dean?" He could feel her eyes on him but he couldn't take his own eyes off Matt.

"What?"

I think..." She began and looked back at her son who had foregone to put a circle around their beds. "I think Matt knew you'd be coming."

"What makes you say that?"

"On his birthday, when he turned eight, he got a stuffed bear from a friend of mine. I thought he was too old for it but Jess... my friend... she said he shouldn't grow up too fast. So... she got him a stupid teddy bear." The object lay discarded on the second bed. A brownish thing, stubby arm and legs and googly buttons as eyes. Her own eyes were shimmering with tears. Not enough to fall. Just creating a vague hint of memories that were now lying somewhere shattered within her soul. "He named it Dean."
They reached Lawrence, Kansas, late the next day after hundreds of miles of aggravating silence that rubbed on Dean's nerves harder than any open fight with his father had ever done. John's mood hadn't improved. On the contrary. As the day before he hadn't said a word the whole day, ignoring every other passenger in the car but Dean saw the glitches in his father's facade. The short glances he threw at the two people in the backseat. Maybe it wasn't hateful but there was something else, a deeply rooted unease that Dean had no explanation for. An anguish that Dean had seen only twice before in his father's face. The first time he could barely remember since he had been only four years old. The last time was eight years ago.

Eight years.

"He turned eight a few months ago."


A thought crossed his mind that had him squirming in his seat, wishing for a undisturbed talk with his father about the boy. Maybe... maybe John saw it too? The familiarity. The home-ness the boy had to himself. The unlimited trust and understanding he kept showing. It could have been wishful thinking. It probably was, Dean chided himself and tried to concentrate on the matter at hand. Getting the two of them safely to Missouri. Maybe he'd never see them again after. He and his father would be leaving in a rush, he was convinced of it. John would make sure of that. Glancing back at the boy Dean wished they would drive on just so he could just keep looking.

"You will be safe here," He heard himself say aloud as he met Dee's doubtful gaze. She had wrapped her left arm around Matt, who was leaning against her, his chin lying on top of his teddy bear. His large eyes blinked at him and Dean was startled to see he was actually awake.

"You okay there, kiddo?" Dean asked with a smile.

"Yeah," Matt answered. "I'm fine. I'm just a little hungry."

"We're almost there." As if to underline his statement John slowed down the car to round a corner and from the distance Dean could already make out the plump form of Missouri Mosely, standing in the warm light of a lantern on the porch of her home, her arms folded in front of her chest and head tilted to the side, as if she aimed to criticize with just body language. It worked amazingly well and Dean felt intimidated already as if he had stolen cookies from her cookie jar without even setting foot into her kitchen.

Damn, she was good. And fucking scary.

John brought the car to a halt abruptly and looked at Dean. "Get them inside. I'll be back in a few hours. Tomorrow morning at the latest."

"You're leaving?" Dean asked, slightly taken aback by the rash dismissal but almost happy at the same time to get out of his father's immediate path, even if it was for just a few hours.

"I have... things to do," He answered, a slight hesitation in his words that only Dean's experience with his father revealed.

Knowing that any other comment would be meaningless Dean climbed out of the car together with Dee and Matt and before he had even banged the door shut the car peeled away with screeching tires and the angry, stomping form of Missouri Mosely approached, daring Dean to confront her. This was going to be fun.

"Dean Winchester!" She yelled and he turned around, putting on his most innocent expression... which didn't do anything but make steam come out of Missouri's ears. "Don't you wait there on the street. Get them inside!" She ordered and pointed at Dee and Matt. "I ain't got all night and the cocoa is getting cold."

At the mention of warm cocoa Matt's face lit up and before he could reply, Missouri added. "Of course there's marshmallows, young man. What do think of me?"

She smiled friendly, her round cheeks dimpling and some of the tension in Dean's back vanished when she threw him an encouraging look that quickly dissolved into her usual superiority.

"Thanks, Ma'am," Dean replied dutifully and had to hide a grin by lowering his head. Suddenly it felt good to be here, even if this was Lawrence, Kansas, the epicenter of their misery. Quickly he took a look around into the surrounding darkness, and then followed them inside.

"The bathroom is right here," he could hear Missouri say and Dee and Matt vanished inside the appointed accommodation while Dean entered the kitchen behind Missouri.

"Your father is a stubborn mule, boy," she complained and Dean chuckled.

"Who are you telling this?" He replied which got him a piqued look. "So," He squirmed under her scrutiny. "I suppose this house..." He glanced around, not really sure what to expect. It had been a long time ago that he had seen her, let alone been in her kitchen.

"... is as safe as it can be." She finished his thought. He had forgotten how it was to be in her ever knowing presence. "Wards are embedded in every wall. Devil traps at every entrance. Salt lines integrated at every window sill and threshold." She blinked at him. "Happy?"

"Yeah, thanks."

"So, the boy is quite a handful, isn't he?" Missouri began to chatter conversationally with her back to him while she fussed with the coffee machine.

"Hm."

"Excuse me? A cat ate your tongue? I'd appreciate you answering in full sentences, mister."

"Sorry, I just..." Dean had to think quickly to choose the words with which he wanted to confront Missouri with his foolish assumption. "He reminds me a lot of... you know..."

She didn't pry, didn't even seem remotely interested in his words and Dean had the impression that this is exactly why she had mentioned the boy in the first place.

"Just the way he... I don't know." He let himself slump into a chair and seconds later Missouri placed a cup in front of his nose. The freshly brewed coffee smelled like heaven, a strong scent with the hint of something syrup-y. "It's a little irritating," He finished, hoping to sound grumpy. Now that he thought about it, he hadn't even said anything particularly significant. Hadn't even mentioned his brother's name even though Sam was filling out his entire cosmos, just the word. And the meaning behind it.

"So, he reminds you of your brother, huh?" She sat down heavily across from him and looked him in the eyes.

He merely nodded, not trusting himself to say anything that would not sound like a childish and over all foolish whine. Hopeful thinking had never been one of his strengths.

"If you want to hear me saying that little boy is your Sammy, I can't tell you this," Missouri claimed, her voice strangely pushing.

"I... " That was so not what he had wanted to hear. He had wanted her to say that yes, surprise, his brother had come back from the dead and now they could have another chance, another life. Sam could be the little careless boy Dean had always wanted him to be. Could have a life, an awesome (alive) Mom even.

A mom who chose this moment to enter the warm kitchen. In front of her she pushed a curious Matt through the door, whose eyes immediately fell on the cup filled with cocoa that was waiting for him at the seat right next to the afro-american woman. He glanced at her as if asking for permission and Missouri smiled.

"Sit down, Matt. I'll get the marshmallows." Matt beamed, dimples deepening in his chubby face and Dean's heart shattered all over again, cold sweat breaking out on the palms of his hands and all of a sudden, the kitchen felt too small for him. Like it was a cage and he was the tiger.

"Sorry, I..." He swallowed down the last gulp of his coffee, burning his tongue. "Tired."

And he fled the room, Missouri's gaze following him.
Bars were the living rooms of John's life. He had everything he needed there. A TV, something to sit on and a steady supply of beers. And he didn't even have to pay rent.

It was barely after eleven when he entered the standard class bar on the other side of Kansas, far away from Missouri's home, and he quickly made his way to the counter to order with a nod at the machine from which the pudgy bar man drew the beer. It quelled the first thirst but it wouldn't suffice to get rid of the angry knot in his stomach. So he gulped it down in one rush, then pushed the empty glass towards the barman and added. "And a Jack... No, the bottle."

The barman raised his eyebrows but didn't comment which was just fine with John. He wasn't in the mood to be judged. He wasn't in the mood to do anything but drown his swirling memories somewhere at the bottom of the bottle with the ice tea coloured liquid. Burying them had taken him ages and for a while they had been dormant dragons who merely puffed some smoke out of their nostrils in their fretful sleep. But the dragons had awoken and they was roaring furiously now.

"I hate you!"

He almost turned around, looking for the source of the voice but he refrained, knowing very well that it was only in his head. An old memory that once had him cover his ears with clenched fists. It had turned into a dull echo, a voice coming from far away and he couldn't really remember his youngest son's voice anymore. Had forgotten how it broke funny when he entered puberty. How it had gotten deeper and deeper and had betrayed Sam's boyish looks. But the emotion behind those words, the hate, these details would never fade.

His son had hated him and it was the last thing he had said to him. And John? He had walked away, had ignored his son's hate that was just a mere plea for understanding. Maybe John hadn't pushed his son down the abyss but he had pushed nonetheless. His memories haunted him like a ghost that couldn't be burned, his dead son a steady presence in the back of his mind. A remembrance of his failure. Another one.

And now his failure had caught up with in form of a little boy who frightened him more than any evil sonofabitch ever could. These big brown eyes, the dimples, the hair. It all added up to the one, hateful sentence. The one truth that Sam had given him on his way to redemption. A redemption that was as improbable as deserved. John didn't deserve redemption. He deserved the hate and the anger. Deserved the blame. Deserved everything his dead son never had the chance to spit at him.

He gulped down another shot of the burning alcohol, waiting for the relief it brought. This evening, he had to wait for quite a while before it came.
Matt had sighed happily when Dee covered him with a blanket. The bed he was lying in was looking almost too big for his little frame. It was a double and Dee would lie down next to him in a minute but she wanted to sit there and stare at him for just a little longer. His little chest rose and fell evenly, the trembling wings of his nose barely noticeable. It was a moment of peace and pure bliss for her. Watching her son sleep, safe and sound, his teddy bear pressed in a tight embrace against his chest.

She put her hand against her lips to suppress a bubble of hysterical sobbing when reality crashed against her like a monster wave on the beach, snatching her feet from under her and letting her tumble, arms and legs flying.

"If you want to hear me saying that little boy is your Sammy, I can't tell you this." She hadn't meant to eavesdrop but the words had been loud enough for her to hear them even through the hallway where she was coming out of the bathroom with Matt's hand clutched in hers. Missouri's words rang through her conscience while a cold comprehension settled down, opening doors in her brain that she hadn't even known existed. Or maybe she had known they had existed but had always passed them without opening. She wanted to laugh it away, look at it with pity because this was her son, no one else. This was Matt, his little angel, who had been a gift from God to her and her alone.

She pushed a strand of his hair from his forehead, his face leaning into her touch. Bowing down, she kissed him on his right cheek and before she could re-think, mumbled into his ear.

"Sammy?"

For a millisecond, nothing happened. Then he scrunched up his face as if annoyed, mumbling softly, "It's Sam! "

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